Many organizations employ off-site workers, and the COVID pandemic accelerated this trend. So, do you have to background check differently when hiring for a remote workforce? Here’s what you need to know.
Do You Need to Background Check Your Remote Workforce?
This seems like a fair question. After all, remote workers aren’t in at your location. Therefore, they wouldn’t be able to cause an accident or harm someone on-site. Unfortunately, this point of view is too limited. Although remote workers aren’t physically present, they still have the potential to do a considerable amount of damage. They might botch an important project, mishandle company funds or leak confidential information. Plus, since remote workers usually have less supervision than regular employees, you could argue their background checks are MORE important.
What Screening Policies Should Be the Same?
Generally, you’ll want to apply similar or the same standards to both remote and on-site employees. In fact, running stricter screening on one group versus the other may get you into trouble. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires businesses to background check equally. Thus, asking remote workers to submit to more rigorous screening could be considered discriminatory. This especially holds true if your remote workforce largely consists of a specific demographic such as working mothers.
What Screening Policies Should Be Different?
Even when you apply the same types of screening, there could be differences in the process of collecting information. This most commonly occurs when remote workers reside in another state or country than your business. In the U.S., the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA regulates the collection of consumer information including background checks. However, some states, counties and cities have supplemental laws. In these cases, you’ll probably need to follow the rules based on your employee’s rather than your organization’s location. If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. An accredited background screening provider will be familiar with various regulations across country and state borders.
How Do You Background Check a Remote Workforce?
Of course, if you remote workers live far away, you may only meet them virtually. Luckily, you can background check them virtually too. Most screening companies offer online portals. Simply send out a link. Then, your remote workforce will be able to complete the required forms from the comfort of their own home. And to make things easier, this same online portal will work for your regular hires too.
Does Your Business Need to Run Background Checks from Western, NY?
Located in downtown Buffalo, Metrodata Services offers background checks for both on-site and remote workforces. As a PBSA accredited firm, we’ll help you navigate federal, state and local laws. So, whether you’re hiring an employee in New York or in California, you’ll stay compliant. Contact us today to launch your remote screening process!